Wherever Shall We Go?

Collage of Tel AvivImage via Wikipedia
At the moment, all that we know is that we are moving to Israel. We are making Aliyah. We originally thought 2013, and that seemed to be the plan, but it appears that we may be moving that date up a year to 2012. Between the recruitment posters here in the US for "internment specialists" and the basic political ribaldry we've seen from our president, coupled with various other familial factors, the longing for home is getting stronger and much more pertinent.

Now comes the question... Where are we going?

We really don't know. Somewhere around Tel Aviv is the hope, as while we at least attempt to be Orthodox, I work in the technology sector, and our outside viewpoints run liberal to secular.

For example, part of the draw to come home is the ability to pray Shacharit, Minchah, and Ma'ariv without stepping on an employer's toes, like here in America. I manage to sneak Shacharit in with my tefillin, and all seems to be well. But I must work during Minchah, and by Ma'ariv, I'm making dinner and fighting with children while my wife tries to get a breath in.

We could finally attend a shul. The closest one here is about 20 miles, and I'm not driving.

We would finally have a proper Jewish community, and actually know someone else that is Jewish. Here, we're on our own. We want to keep shomer kashrut, but given how far we are from kosher meat, time and price constraints, we end up with "That's a cow. I'll have to kasher it and eat it anyway..." or "Any pig with that? Can't eat it." and "No. You may NOT have a cheeseburger!"

Let me explain that last one. We have children coming from a secular upbringing (I won't go into details) and are moving to a more frum, beneficial lifestyle. We also have a developmental issue or two (I will hold out on that for the moment as well) to mesh through, so they have a bit of difficulty understanding what the big deal is between cow, American cheese, and big red wig-wearing clowns.

We need to have beach accessibility to help make my wife happier, as well as all of us, really. We're not really the settler type, not haredi either. Yerushalayim is a nice place to visit, but we aren't looking to live there.

This will be our home for the rest of our lives. That is at least the intention. I will eventually get over the fact that I like the "Jewish Jordan" and the Haifa Heat, and end up cheering for Tel Aviv, or wherever we end up.

We will still be hockey fans. I don't think that can change.

But those of you in the know, help us. Throw us a bone, here. Where is a place that we can be observant, but still not have an uprising if the neighbors are gay?

I ask that question in particular because we, while wishing to adhere to a more Orthodox lifestyle, also realize the realities of life and culture both here and what we have heard from Israel thus far. Perhaps the word "metropolitan" comes to mind.

We adhere more closely to Chabad, consider ourselves chabadniks, even if on the fringe, but also have the social open-mindedness of Renewal. With that said, we don't consider Rav Zalman Schacter-Shalomi to be our rebbe. The Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Schneerson zt''l) is our Rebbe.

We do want a mikvah in the vicinity. We don't have that here, either.

I wear a black fedora, sometimes a black driver's cap, but I don't necessarily dress like a "penguin" (I use that term lovingly. Sometimes I do, as wardrobe permits. But my wardrobe is not exactly "updated"). I wear a big blue and white frik knit kippah. I'm neither Breslov nor Samaritan. A friend of mine in Yerushalayim wears one, I liked the way it looked, and now I have one that is soft and feels comfortable. My infant has one almost exactly like it, and he is adorable in it. I read somewhere that it also has to do with Zionists, and obviously we are that, or we wouldn't be making Aliyah.

Holon has been mentioned, Beit Shemesh as well. We are a family of five, with a probability of one more. At the same time, we need to get to where startup and techology jobs reside. I want to bring mine with me, and I believe that I can build that groundwork in the next year, but I have to be prepared in the event my employer vetoes my vision.

It would be nice to finally get a decent education, both secular and yeshiva. Eleven year old boys in Ramle probably know more Talmud than I.

So what are the sections of the Tel Aviv area, Sharon district, etc. Anybody? Anything?
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